MONHEIM, Germany - Global specialty chemicals supplier Cognis has announced preliminary operating results in the first quarter of 2010 that significantly exceed results of the first quarter of 2009. Cognis recorded double-digit sales growth of 10.6 percent to EUR 728 million, mainly due to a pickup in business conditions leading to a recovery of sales volumes across all business units (plus 14.2 percent). Cognis also achieved a strong operating result (adjusted EBITDA) of EUR 131 million, which increased significantly by 79.6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2009. As a result, return on sales (adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of sales) improved by 6.9 percentage points to 17.9 percent. Net profit for the period also increased significantly, reaching EUR 47 million compared to a net loss of EUR 33 million in the first quarter of 2009. Cognis’ free cash flow generation was EUR 40 million despite the increased business activity and therefore necessary seasonal investments in trade working capital for the first quarter of 2010.
Care Chemicals achieved sales of EUR 407 million, an increase of 10 percent compared to the first quarter of 2009. Adjusted EBITDA of Care Chemicals rose by 82.3 percent to EUR 75 million. Nutrition & Health saw its sales increase by 5.2 percent to EUR 88 million, and its adjusted EBITDA increased by 29.5 percent to EUR 19 million. Functional Products performed especially well with adjusted EBITDA increasing by 129.4 percent to EUR 39 million and achieved sales of EUR 229 million, representing an increase of 14.1 percent.